NewsCrime Desk

Stokes told he'd be shot if he came home to Dublin

Anthony Stokes
Anthony Stokes

Celtic star Anthony Stokes has revealed how he almost quit the club after receiving a string of death threats targeted at him and his family.

The 27-year-old was warned that he would get a bullet in the head if he ever came home to Dublin and was also linked to a plot to kill loyalist boss Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair.

The Ireland star said: “There have been stages where it’s got dangerous and I’ve had to consider if it’s really worth it.”

Stokes was forced to move after thugs smashed the windows of his house while his pregnant girlfriend was home alone.

“There was a stage where I got four or five threats I felt I had no option but to speak to the club’s security guys, who reported it to the police.

“An anonymous Twitter account was set up and sent me messages saying I was going to be shot dead as soon as I got back to Dublin.

“They came in over a period of 10, 15 minutes and there was something in it that revealed personal knowledge.

“That was the worst. I don’t know what was behind it.

“Maybe Dublin was to show they knew where to get me.

“Whatever, it wasn’t just an idiot with a keyboard. There’s nothing really I can do but try and get on with it.

“I’m certainly not going to accept it. People react to what they think is the truth and what they think they know about me.

“I’ve never gone out to offend anyone and I don’t think I’ve been controversial.

Stokes signed for Celtic from Hibs in 2010 having made his international debut three years earlier.

He was left in no doubt of the scrutiny he would face when he signed for Celtic and was warned of the goldfish-bowl existence he would face living in Glasgow.

Initially he set up home on the outskirts of Edinburgh in a bid to avoid confrontation.

But word eventually got out that he had moved in.

“The house was targeted a few times and we’d people standing outside screaming abuse,” he said.

“The worst occasion was when I was away with the team and my girlfriend was nine months’ pregnant and they decided to put the windows in and kick the door down. That was a tough period. It’s the people around you that suffer the most.”